As ever, we’re going to try and cover every single Jäger, New Blood and SOPHIE stage band before Bloodstock kicks off on August 9th. Your chance to check them out and start planning which bands to get there early for!
Trust us when we tell you that this is bound to result in some frustrating clashes because, as ever, there are some great bands on these three stages.
Our thanks to all the bands for taking the time out to answer our questions!
Reprisal – Sophie Lancaster Stage, Friday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Ollie (guitarist): We individually hail from the exotic locales of Surrey, Reading and Anglesey, but as a unit we’re currently based in the South East.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
We started jamming as an instrumental three piece in 2011 and with the addition of Tom as frontman the following year, the lineup was complete.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Dictionary.com lists their top entry as “retaliation against an enemy, for injuries received, by the infliction of equal or greater injuries.” In our case, that retaliation comes in the form of our music, with the enemy being those peddling less-than-crushing riffs.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music is a fusion of thrash and death metal, equally taking inspiration from bands of the classic era (Testament, Sepultura, Exodus, Death, Coroner) as well as the more modern extreme acts currently putting out truly great stuff (Revocation, Havok, Power Trip, Warbringer, Rivers Of Nihil).
While our approach has never been to reinvent the wheel or subvert the genre in any particular way, what we aim to do is magnify those aspects that have kept us listening to metal all this time, namely a cohesive sense of songcraft. In an age of dwindling attention spans where many bands seem content to write ‘songs’ by blasting through a succession of fairly interchangeable riffs, we try and write music with structure but without sacrificing an ounce of aggression. Hopefully that makes us unique!
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
Our live show is pure moshpit fodder, and packed with face-melting brutality; pretty much the musical equivalent to the opening of the Ark of the Covenant. Also, it’s been medically proven that the only way to cancel out a hangover is with a full-blown bangover so if you plan on drinking at Bloodstock, you’d actually be risking your health by not watching us!
Have you played Bloodstock before? If so, when?
Yep, Reprisal played the New Blood stage in 2014 having emerged victorious in the Reading Metal To The Masses competition. It was a huge achievement for us back then and we still view it as a major career highlight to this day.
How/when did you find out that you’d be playing the SOPHIE stage?
I think it was around Feb/March time when we received word from our label/PR manager. We were blown away when we heard the news, and then with it being officially announced only a matter of days before our new album dropped, it’s fair to say that excitement levels reached an all time high.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
Expect a breathlessly intense setlist with zero let-up! We’ll be airing some choice cuts from our brand new None Survive The Sun album as well as material from our Ichneumanity EP.
Which other band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re currently booking more tours and have our sights set on finally making it outside the UK for some shows too. As far a new material goes, we’ve been jamming out a few new song ideas recently and our main goal is to write a follow up release sooner rather than later, because we left an eternity between the EP and the album!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Some of the highlights over the years: Sam from Aghast! taking a seat in the middle of the crowd and doing a drawing of us mid-set; a couple getting very intimate against the front of the stage (I won’t go into detail here, but they weren’t kissing); a blind-folded moshpit; a man driving a humongous motorcycle into the pub during our set to show off to his mates; a man leaping up and down like a frog (while shouting “I am a frog”) seconds before getting wiped out in a wall of death; Tom dressing up as a pizza slice for a Halloween show, throwing the costume into the crowd, and then later that night witnessing the guy who picked it up getting congratulated on a great set… you get the general idea.
Jäger, Hobgoblin Ale, Red Bull, Kingstone Press Cider, Kaltenberg Beer or Bulleit Bourbon?
No contest, Hobgoblin!